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Private School

Inspection Report

Manor Hall International School

Academic Year 2015 2016

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Manor Hall International School


Inspection Date
Date of previous inspection

March 6, 2016

to

March 9, 2016

May 6, 2012

to

May 8, 2012

General Information

Students

School ID

165

Total number of
students

500

Opening year of
school

2008

Number of children
in KG

77

Principal

Guy Cooper

Number of students
in other phases

Primary:
Middle:
High:

School telephone

+971 (0)3 781 0891

Age range

3 years 8 months to 18
years

School Address

PO Box 99502, Falaj Hazza,


Al Ain

Grades or Year
Groups

KG to Grade 12

Official email (ADEC)

manorhall.pvt@adec.ac.ae

Gender

Mixed

School website

www.manorhallschool.com

% of Emirati
Students

30%

Fee ranges (per


annum)

Medium to high:
AED 21,250 AED 33,500

Largest nationality
groups (%)

1. American 19%
2. Jordanian 10%
3. Syrian 5%

Licensed Curriculum

212
109
82

Staff

Main Curriculum

Pennsylvania State
Academic Standards (PSAS)
and Common Core State
Standards (CCSS)

Number of teachers

45

Other Curriculum

---------

Number of teaching
assistants (TAs)

21

External Exams/
Standardised tests

AP Examinations; MoE; SAT

Teacher-student
ratio

KG/ FS

1 : 22

Other phases

1 : 22

Western Association of
Schools and Colleges
(WASC)

Teacher turnover

62%

Accreditation

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Introduction
Inspection activities
Number of inspectors
deployed

Number of inspection days

Number of lessons observed

83

Number of joint lesson


observations

Number of parents
questionnaires

Details of other inspection


activities

60; (return rate: 13%)


Inspectors observed lessons, attended assemblies and
conducted meetings with the principal and vice
principal, School Board, heads of department,
teachers, support staff, parents, and students. They
reviewed school policy and other documents, analysed
assessment results, and looked at students work. Due
to weather disruption, the inspection was concluded
on 14 March by two principal inspectors.
School

School Aims

Manor Hall School aims to teach students American


Curriculum, UAE culture, and standards while
developing independent thinkers.

School vision and mission

Our vision for our students is that they take pride in


their learning heritage and over their lifetimes become
vibrant global citizens of truth and life-long learning in
every vocation. We want to develop our students full
potential while promoting a healthy and well-balanced
lifestyle.

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Admission Policy

Results from an entrance examination in English and


mathematics are used to assess students for
admission.

Leadership structure
(ownership, governance and
management)

The school is overseen by a School Board. The senior


leadership team comprises the principal, and viceprincipal.

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SEN Details (Refer to ADEC SEN Policy and Procedures)


Number of students
identified through external
assessments

Number of other students


identified by the school

Intellectual disability

Specific Learning Disability

Emotional and Behaviour


Disorders (ED/ BD)

Autism Spectrum Disorder


(ASD)

Visually impaired

Hearing impaired

Multiple disabilities

SEN Category

Speech and Language


Disorders
Physical and health related
disabilities

G&T Details (Refer to ADEC SEN Policy and Procedures)


G&T Category

Number of students
identified

Intellectual ability

10

Subject-specific aptitude (e.g. in science, mathematics,


languages)

Social maturity and leadership

Mechanical/ technical/ technological ingenuity

Visual and performing arts (e.g. art, theatre, recitation)

20

Psychomotor ability (e.g. dance or sport)

30

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The overall performance of the school


Inspectors considered the school in relation to 3 performance categories
High performing (Outstanding, Very Good or Good)

Band B

Satisfactory (Acceptable)

Band C

In need of significant improvement (Weak or Very Weak)

(B)

Satisfactory

Acceptable
Band C
In need of significant
improvement

Weak

High Performing

Acceptable

Band B

Good

Band A

Very Good

Performance Standards

Band

Outstanding

School was judged to be:

Performance Standard 1:
Students achievement
Performance Standard 2:
Students personal and
social development, and
their innovation skills
Performance Standard 3:
Teaching and assessment
Performance Standard 4:
Curriculum
Performance Standard 5:
The protection, care,
guidance and support of
students
Performance Standard 6:
Leadership and
management

Summary Evaluation:
The schools overall
performance

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Very Weak

Band A

The Performance of the School


Evaluation of the schools overall performance
The overall performance of Manor Hall International School is acceptable and it
has a number of strengths. Attainment across subjects is acceptable. Students
make good progress overall from their starting points in English, mathematics and
science. In Arabic, Islamic education and social studies progress is acceptable. The
behaviour of students in lessons and around school and their attitudes to their
studies are good. Students appreciation of their own and other world cultures,
their respect for the heritage and culture of the UAE, and their understanding of
how to live healthy lifestyles are good. Teaching is adequate and lessons generally
cater for the full range of students abilities. The learning environment is safe and
secure and strong relationships among students and between staff and students
contribute very positively to the academic and personal development of students.
Teachers know their students well, diligently track their progress, and work hard
to offer support both in class and at other times of the day. Senior leaders share a
common vision of improving all aspects of the schools provision. Parents are
supportive and appreciate the regular, detailed information they receive on the
progress of their children.
Progress made since last inspection and capacity to improve
The school has undergone significant changes in leadership and teaching staff
since the last inspection. The principal and vice principal have been in post for a
short period and the large majority of teaching staff are new to the school this
academic year. Nevertheless, the school has made progress in tackling the
recommendations from the last inspection report. The quality of teaching has
been improved by additional challenge in the higher grades in mathematics and
science and an increased emphasis upon practical work in science in the lower
grades. In Arabic and mathematics, progress has been made in the use of teaching
strategies that focus more fully on student learning. A focus upon the standardsbased classroom has established the use of learning objectives. Weekly
assessment has strengthened the consistency of assessment and its role in
planning learning across the school. These initiatives are too recent to have
resulted in raised standards. Work emphasising the heritage, history and culture
of the UAE has developed students awareness and respect effectively. Given the
recent changes in leadership and staffing, the need to identify and share good
practice in teaching and learning and strengthen subject leadership remains a
priority. The school has the capacity to improve further.

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Development and promotion of innovation skills


The school is in the early stages of developing and promoting innovation skills.
During the previous academic year a few students benefited from participating in
a robotics competition in the USA, and others were given the opportunity to
develop their robotics skills in a timetabled class. This year students have been
offered the opportunity to work in a team project to design and build a model of a
capital city. Development of students innovation skills is yet to be embedded in
the curriculum and in lesson planning and delivery.

The inspection identified the following as key areas of strength:

the commitment of the principal and vice-principal to school improvement


the clear direction, support and challenge of the governing body
the strength of relationships across the school
the positive work ethic and attendance of students.

The inspection identified the following as key areas for


improvement:

the consistency of the quality of teaching and learning


promotion of higher-order skills in all lessons
the use of external benchmarking data to inform improvement
the focus of self-evaluation approaches on students learning.

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Performance Standard 1: Students Achievement


Students achievement Indicators

Islamic
Education

Arabic
(as a First Language)

Arabic
(as a Second
Language)

KG

Primary

Middle

High

Attainment

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

Progress

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

Attainment

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

Progress

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

Attainment

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

Progress

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

Attainment

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

Progress

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

Attainment

Good

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

Progress

Good

Good

Good

Acceptable

Attainment

Good

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

Progress

Good

Good

Good

Good

Attainment

Good

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

Progress

Good

Good

Good

Good

Attainment

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Progress

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Attainment

Good

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

Progress

Good

Good

Good

Good

Good

Good

Good

Good

Social Studies

English

Mathematics

Science
Language of
instruction (if other
than English and
Arabic as First
Language)
Other subjects
(Art, Music, PE)
Learning Skills
(including innovation, creativity, critical
thinking, communication, problemsolving and collaboration)

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Lesson observations, examination of students work, and scrutiny of the very limited
internal and external assessment data available to school leaders for the past 3 years
show that students achievement overall is acceptable. Students across the school
gain acceptable levels in Arabic, Islamic education, and social studies in line with
Ministry of Education (MoE) curriculum expectations. In English, mathematics,
science and other subjects, students attainment is in line with international
standards in the elementary, middle, and high school phases of the school. It is good
across these subjects in the KG due to effective teaching.
Progress from starting points is acceptable in the Arabic-medium subjects. It is good
overall in English, mathematics, science and other subjects due to strengths in
teaching, the good behaviour and attitudes of students to their studies, and recent
improvements in the assessment of their attainment. Weekly testing introduced by
the school leadership this academic year has added further rigour to the monitoring
of student progress through mid-term and end of year tests linked to the Common
Core State Standards.
Students demonstrate strong learning skills. They collaborate well in group and class
activities. Most are confident in their English communication skills even when they
are developing these as second language learners. Students are very competent in
researching using a range of sources and presenting their findings to their peers. The
majority have well-developed skills in critical thinking and IT, a growing ability to
solve problems in mathematics, and the skills to carry out practical investigations in
science.
Students with special educational needs and those who speak English as a second
language make progress in line with their peers due to the well targeted support
they receive from classroom assistants and English as a second language and special
educational needs teachers. Gifted and talented students also make progress in line
with their peers; additional support for these students is presently being developed
by the school.
In Islamic education, the large majority of students can recite verses from the Holy
Quran following appropriate recitation rules, recognise key words, and explain
short verses. In Arabic, students develop their literacy skills well, write stories
effectively and read poems and stories expressively. In social studies, they can
compare ancient Egyptian civilisation and Iraq, discuss the operation of the UN
Security Council, assess the role played by Andrew Carnegie in American history, and
explore the concept of Arab Union.
In English, most children in the KG make good progress in their language skills, with
a majority exceeding age appropriate expectations. By Grade 6, most studnets
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present personal research on famous people and demonstrate a growing sense of


audience. In Grade 11, they are skilled at analysing speeches from the American Civil
War. Across the grades students demonstrate imagination in their creative writing
and well-developed research skills.
In mathematics, students steadily acquire fluency in working with numbers as they
move through KG. Their mathematical knowledge and computational skills are built
systematically over time with practical, problem-solving activities. In Grade 9 and 10
Algebra classes, they demonstrate secure skills in working with linear equations. In
Grade 11, students are competent in finding the lowest common denominator of 2
rational expressions, and work with confidence in considering the normal
distribution and standard deviation in statistics. By Grades 11 and 12, their skills in
calculus are well developed.
In science, students gain knowledge of scientific facts and processes relative to
curriculum standards which are at least appropriate to their age. In Grade 3, for
example, they are articulate in discussing the parts of the human body. By Grade 10
they are able to carry out high-quality research on genetic mutations, and by Grade
12 discuss torque and force accurately in the context of simple machines.
Students use a range of learning skills as they progress through the school. For
example, by Grade 12 students produce and present high-quality ICT-based
presentations with confidence. Skills in collaborative group work and learning
together in different contexts are also developing well. The school has rightly
prioritised the need to develop students higher-order thinking skills and has begun
to raise their importance with teachers. This approach is encouraging and is likely to
improve students skills.

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Performance Standard 2: Students personal and social development,


and their innovation skills
Students personal and social
development, and their innovation skills
Indicators

KG

Primary

Middle

High

Personal development

Good

Good

Good

Good

Understanding of Islamic values and


awareness of Emirati and world cultures

Good

Good

Good

Good

Social responsibility and innovation skills

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

Students personal and social development is good overall. Their skills of innovation
and social responsibility are developing and are acceptable. Students behaviour in
lessons, when moving between classes, and when entering or leaving school, is
purposeful and responsible. Their skills of cooperative working are well developed.
Relationships between students, and between students and staff, are strong,
supportive and respectful. As a result, the majority of older students are confident in
challenging one another and discussing their learning. This was particularly evident
in one Grade 12 lesson in their questions and responses as they presented the results
of research on an organisation of their choice. They readily ask staff for help if this is
needed. Bullying is rare. Students demonstrate a positive attitude towards healthy
living, for example in their choice of food and in their enthusiastic participation in a
range of sporting activities. School records show that the outstanding attendance
levels noted at the previous inspection have been maintained at 98%, and that
students are punctual at the start of the day and to lessons.
Most students show good levels of respect for Islamic values and the heritage and
culture of the UAE. In assemblies, for example, they are respectful during the
reading of the Holy Quran, the singing of the National Anthem and as the UAE flag is
saluted. They understand and appreciate the significance of the many nationalities
of the UAE living and working together. Students from the mix of cultures
represented within the school community get on well with each other. Students are
involved in raising funds for charity and a few support younger students and those
with special educational needs.

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Performance Standard 3: Teaching and Assessment


Teaching and Assessment Indicators

KG

Primary

Middle

High

Teaching for effective learning

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

Assessment

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

The overall quality of teaching and assessment is acceptable. Most teachers use
secure knowledge of their subject and how students learn to plan lessons
effectively. They use a variety of questions to test understanding and a range of
methods and resources to motivate and interest students of all ages and abilities.
Relationships are respectful and positive. As a result, most students demonstrate a
confidence in their learning. The majority are active in responding to questioning,
and collaborative working is well developed. KG teachers provide a stimulating and
productive learning environment in which all children make at least acceptable
progress across their subjects.
In the best lessons, teachers apply strong subject knowledge creatively to increase
the challenge, pace and enjoyment of learning. This was evident, for example, in a
Grade 9 mathematics lesson in which almost all students responded with interest
and enthusiasm to the challenge of employing linear equations to solve coded
clues to a robbery of ancient Middle Eastern coins. Strong practice was also seen in
astute questioning which linked learning effectively to real world examples, for
example in a Grade 12 physics lesson which examined changes in torque and force.
This quality of practice is not consistently evident across subjects and grades. In a
few classes, students have insufficient opportunity to be actively engaged in their
learning through work that is well matched to their needs. As a result, a few become
passive or disinterested. Most lessons do not yet provide sufficient opportunities to
promote students innovation and enterprise skills, or help them make links
between different subjects and areas of learning.
The school now collects data on the attainment of individual students which is
carefully linked to curriculum standards. Students progress is monitored through
weekly assessments and individualised action is taken to ensure that areas of
difficulty are quickly addressed. The school is in the early stages of broader analysis
of assessment data, for example by student groups, or against external
expectations.

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Performance Standard 4: Curriculum


Curriculum Indicators

KG

Primary

Middle

High

Curriculum design and implementation

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

Curriculum adaptation

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

Acceptable

The implementation and delivery of the curriculum is acceptable. The curriculum


now adheres to licensed requirements following a very recent adjustment to time
allocations for Islamic education and social studies. Significant recent review has
further improved the rigour with which the school implements its use of
Pennsylvania State Academic Standards (PSAS) and Common Core State Standards
(CCSS), so that a range of resources are employed, clear timetables are set for
delivery, and planning builds appropriately on previous content. The curriculum
generally meets the needs of most students, including those with special
educational needs, those who speak English as a second language, and those who
are gifted and talented. Older students have the opportunity to make some choices
between electives which allow them to pursue particular interests. The school
extends the curriculum with a number of sporting activities and some additional
clubs, trips, competitions and special events. Appropriate opportunities are
provided to develop students appreciation and respect for UAE and Arabic culture
and society, most notably in Arabic speaking courses.
The school offers a few cross-curricular links, but these are not yet planned across
subjects to enhance students transfer of learning between subjects on a consistent
basis. The curriculum has not yet been modified sufficiently to support students
who speak English as a second language but improvements are underway, as is
work to extend the learning of gifted and talented students. Opportunities for
students to contribute to the school and wider community, for example through
schemes to promote sustainability and conservation, are limited. Development of
students skills of enterprise and innovation has not yet been routinely embedded in
the planning and delivery of subjects or extracurricular activities.

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Performance Standard 5: The protection, care, guidance and support


of students
The protection, care, guidance and
support of students Indicators

KG

Primary

Middle

High

Health
and
safety,
including
arrangements for child protection/
safeguarding

Good

Good

Good

Good

Care and support

Good

Good

Good

Good

Provision for the protection, care, support and guidance of students is good. The
school places a high priority on the health, safety and welfare of all its students.
Child protection and related procedures such as those to protect students from
bullying and the potential dangers of the Internet and social media are in place and
clearly communicated to staff and parents. The school provides a safe, hygienic and
secure environment. Safety checks are frequent and thorough. The site is well
maintained and records are kept up-to-date and secure. The school promotes
healthy lifestyles effectively through, for example, the work of the registered school
nurse, and the range of opportunities for sport available to students both within the
school and in competition with other schools.
Staff have very positive and purposeful relationships with students. These are based
upon a commitment to support them which extends from greeting them and their
parents at the start of the school day to being available for additional help at its
close. Systems and procedures for managing students behaviour are successful,
particularly so in promoting high levels of attendance and punctuality. The school
has appropriate systems to identify students with special educational needs which
include external, professional assessment. These students make progress in line
with their peers because their support is appropriately managed, resources are
modified to address their needs, and their progress is effectively monitored. On
occasion, learning activities are not suitably matched for students with very specific
needs. Systems for identifying students who are gifted and talented and providing
support for them to make the most of their abilities are less well developed and are
currently being worked upon. The school provides effective personal and academic
guidance and support. Students academic progress is closely monitored on an
individual basis and regularly reported to parents. Students receive advice and
guidance from staff on a range of matters. These include helpful support from the
school guidance counsellor to older students about careers choices and higher
education pathways, as well as arranging for talks to be given by university staff.
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Performance Standard 6: Leadership and management


Leadership and management Indicators
The effectiveness of leadership

Acceptable

Self-evaluation and improvement planning

Acceptable

Partnerships with parents and the community

Acceptable

Governance
Management, staffing, facilities and resources

Good
Acceptable

Leadership and management are now acceptable overall following significant


changes in leadership and staffing at all levels at the start of this year. A number of
well-judged school improvement initiatives are now underway and a few have been
implemented effectively in a relatively short period of time. As yet it is too early to
evaluate fully the impact of these changes on teaching and achievement.
The School Board provides clear direction, support and challenge to the school. At
the end of the last academic year, school owners carried out a major restructuring of
school leadership to help achieve the mission of placing learning at the heart of the
school and developing knowledgeable, principled, lifelong learners. A large majority
of the teaching staff are new in post this academic year. The principal has placed a
strong and effective emphasis, though clear guidance and monitoring, on ensuring
students learn at a consistent and increased pace. With the support of the vice
principal, he has driven forward procedures to promote good discipline and positive
behaviour. School leaders have set clear expectations for teachers in their lesson
planning and assessing of students progress against agreed standards. The schools
commitment to being inclusive is shown by the strong support for students for
whom English is a second language and a growing focus upon supporting students
with special educational needs. Leaders promote respect for UAE culture and
heritage and an appreciation of other world cultures. The school has recently taken
decisive steps to ensure it is compliant with curriculum requirements. Senior staff
ensure that the school functions efficiently on a day-to-day basis, and that it is
equipped with a range of resources appropriate to the learning needs of students. A
range of strategies are now used to ensure effective communication with parents
over their childs learning and parents views, and an active parent-teacher
association meets regularly.
The school self-evaluation form (SEF) inherited by current leaders uses information,
including attainment data, which is no longer available. It is currently being updated.
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The school development plan (SDP) is comprehensive and appropriately targets the
main areas for improvement. Senior school leaders have monitored teaching and
learning formally since the start of the year. Their priorities have focused more on
teaching rather than students learning. This has been a useful approach, but as yet
it has not been broadened sufficiently to ensure strengths and weaknesses in the
quality of students learning are fully understood or used to inform professional
development. The school is at an early stage of developing middle leaders and
formally defining their roles and responsibilities.

What the school should do to improve further:


1. Increase the consistency in the quality of teaching and learning by:
i. spreading the best practice already identified in the school
ii. continuing to develop the system of lesson observations by school
leaders and all teachers to share practice with a clear focus on
students learning
iii. further linking professional development to the results of lesson
observations.
2. Strengthen students higher-order thinking skills and opportunities to
develop innovation and enterprise skills by:
i. middle leaders identifying and sharing best practice in using these
skills in lessons
ii. continuing to modify the curriculum to fully meet the needs of all
students with a strong focus on embedding skills in all lessons
iii. providing staff development activities that focuses on using these
skills as a normal part of lesson methodology
iv.
evaluating the impact of these initiatives on students learning by
regular and rigorous monitoring.
3. Further modify the curriculum to:
i. strengthen the support available to students who speak English as
a second language and those who are gifted and talented
ii. include opportunities for students to become involved in the wider
community, for example through extending the range of
extracurricular activities
iii. increase the connections students are able to make between areas
of learning.
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4. Increase the use of external benchmarking information to improve school


performance by:
i. identifying appropriate benchmarking data sources
ii. using assessment tools which enable robust comparisons with
external data to be made
iii. identifying areas where improvement can be made and targeting
these in school improvement planning.

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